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Walt Whitman to Van Doran Stafford, 14 June [1882]

 loc_gt.00021_large.jpg Dear boy Van1

So you are back again—I heard that your folks had sent for you—How did you like New York & your trip & every thing? I got your letter & was glad to get it—write to me again if you feel like it—I saw Bill Engle & he told me they had sent for you, & that Ed was up here in Camden in a store—(I have not seen Ed yet)—Van I send you a paper—read that story "the boy from Xenia"—it is very good—in fact there is lots of good reading in the little paper—I know you do not care much for reading, but I wish you would read more—read this paper I send any how


I have had a good deal of trouble in business lately, but I guess it is going to be all right—I am not altogether out of the woods, but near it surely—I keep about as usual in health—I got a paper from Herbert—one of his pictures has taken a big prize, a gold medal—(probably he has wrote your folks all about it though)—A big fire up here last night, the Narrow Gauge Engine House & Depot, five engines burnt, bad luck—

—Van, show this letter to your father and mother—my love to you, boy, & to all the rest, every one—I want to come down before long—Ruth, have you got a chicken ready? I will send you word—I dream'd night before last I was down by the old pond a long while—the old tulip tree was coverd​ with blossoms & the bees humming—

Walt Whitman


  • 1. Van Doran Stafford wrote to Whitman on May 28 from New York, where he was employed on the steamer "Plymouth Rock." He was enjoying New York and was not anxious to return since "Ruth says she will have a situation for me when I get home to scrub and wash dishes." [back]
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